Cindy a ‘successful tune-up’ for Lafourche

Lafourche Parish leaders have praised the parish’s response to Tropical Storm Cindy.

Lafourche Parish President Jimmy Cantrelle considered Lafourche fortunate to avoid most of Cindy’s rainfall, but he said parish workers showed excellent preparation and execution as the storm approached the coast. Cantrelle said he did not hear of any water getting into houses during last week’s rain events.

With Cindy bearing down on Louisiana’s coast, Terrebonne and Lafourche parish governments declared states of emergency to more effectively mobilize storm responses. As Cindy grew into a tropical storm, predictive models started tracking

the storm’s landfall further west, near the Louisiana-Texas border. A week of constant, heavy storms for the Bayou Region became a series of hard but intermittent rains, primarily in the southern portions of the two parishes.

Lafourche Parish was providing sandbags to residents for flood preparations at six locations as Cindy neared the coastline.

Cantrelle said he was not sure how many sandbags were given, but he put the figure in the thousands. According to Cantrelle, the combination of relatively fortunate weather and preparation by residents and parish workers made for a light storm situation.

“We had a lot of rain, but I don’t think any house had any water in. We issued out quite a few sandbags to help protect the houses,” Cantrelle said. “God was good. Everything else was good.”

Lafourche Council Member Daniel Lorraine, who represents the southernmost portions the parish, said a few areas received water, but the parish had pump stations ready to help alleviate flooding. Lorraine said places located outside of the South Lafourche Levee District’s ring levee system had flooding. According to Lorraine, there was some wind damage and a few downed trees, but south Lafourche avoided major flooding.

“Leeville got a little water, but I think it’s all gone now. It’s just a vulnerable area, like Dulac when you get all the way at the end. Inside the levee system, we didn’t have any problems. None at all,” Lorraine said.

According to Cantrelle, the response was the product of an entire year of storm preparation.

He said he may have to make a couple of tweaks after looking over the entire Cindy response this week, but as of now he did not see any specific area the parish could have improved.

“The whole year now we’ve been preparing. It’s just putting it all in place. Everything was in place; everything was ready to go,” Cantrelle said. “Homeland security did a great job. I want to put my hats out to all the workers in this parish. Everything was great.”

The parish avoided major rainfalls as the bands of rain from Cindy broke up and primarily traveled to the east and west of Lafourche. Cantrelle said he was keeping the state of emergency up until this past Monday to make sure the entirety of Cindy had passed the parish before lifting it.

“We’re just waiting cause we could have gotten a lot of rainfall if these bands came in. If they would have moved a little more west, we could have had a lot more rain, we could have had possible flooding,” Cantrelle said.

According to Cantrelle, while Lafourche, its residents and parish workers handled Tropical Storm Cindy well, this storm is only one small obstacle. With more than five months until the Atlantic hurricane season officially ends, Lafourche could face more storms in the near future.

Cantrelle said even though Cindy did not bring loads of rain to Lafourche, it did give the parish a chance to prepare and react to an oncoming storm.

“This was kind of a tune-up for anything else that we hope does not come,” Cantrelle said.

Tropical Storm Cindy